Thursday, March 18, 2010

The first biography of John Paul Jones. Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle July-November 1816

John Paul Jones
The Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle was an important magazine to express many of the issues of the day. It shared much of the recent history dealing with the war of 1812 and also dwelling into the days of the American revolution. Of course when this was published the revolution had been over for only 33 years.
So much of what they wrote about in this magazine was of relatively recent history. It is interesting to think that Franklin had been dead 26 years and Washington had been dead but 17 years when this was published. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Madison, John Jay, John Marshall, Aaron Burr, and many other revolutionaries were still very much alive. Of that group Madison was President when it was published and Monroe would be the 5th President after him.
This magazine and this issue was very important as it contained the first biography of John Paul Jones. He had written his memoirs, but this was the first as a biography. The author is unknown. The publisher was Moses Thomas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here is the front page from this most early biography
Some information on this publication

Philadelphia: Moses, Thomas, 1816. Life of John Paul Jones from Vol. VIII, Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle, July 1816, pp. 1-29. First published biography of John Paul Jones. [Published after Jones memoirs, but nine years before Sherburne's biography.) Includes a 7-page excerpt from Nathaniel Fanning's memoir, published in 1806, recounting Jones famous battle with the Serapis. Relates Jones words exchanged with the enemy not as "I have not yet begun to fight." Rather, in response to a demand that he strike his colors, Jones is quoted as resonding, "Ay, ay, we'll do that when we can fight no longer--but we shall see yours come down first. . . ." Letters of [John] Paul Jones from the November 1816 issue, pp. 399-401. 3 letters: to the Marquis de Nieuil, to Benjamin Franklin, and to Monseigneur de Sartine.

Monday, March 01, 2010

September 4, 1882 The day downtown Manhattan was lit for the first time by Thomas Edison's light bulb.

On September 4, 1882 Thomas Alva Edison pulled a switch at the world's first commercial DC electrical distribution plant and the area around Pearl Street in lower Manhattan lit up!
The Edison team had worked out this system through the year and finally on the 4th of September it was ready! It was no accident that the power station was on Pearl Street. It was right by Wall Street and near Edison's money man. J. P. Morgan.

Morgan was much of the money behind Edison's work. In fact Edison once wrote in one of his books about Morgan and his money saying,"His word was his collateral". Truer words were never said.

The streets and offices around Pearl and Wall Streets were lit by Edison's Bamboo filament light bulbs.
All the wiring was under ground. (IT STILL IS IN NYC). From the power produced by the Jumbo generators (named for the famous elephant), Edison and his team were able to light several blocks of lower Manhattan.

It was the beginning of a new age! It all started less than 130 years ago. Not that long ago when you think about it. Think of that each time you turn on your lights and the rest of your life.
This was a city that saw once a revolution that freed them from England. This next revolution, the electrical one, freed mankind from the bondage of darkness.